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ADVICE PLEASE re: response to wanted free ad on Bargain deals

cdn_traveler

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Hello everyone,

BrianW thought that I should post this and see what the group thinks about all of this. Am I being scammed?


A TUG member recently posted a free wanted ad on the bargains deal forum looking for a Sheraton Vistana Resort, so I responded.

I've attached the emails that have been sent between us.


Bargain deal OP's response to my email with details about the week I owned.
**************
Susan,

Thanks a lot for the info!

It looks like I found a similar week with usage starting in 2012 (no
reservation or deposit made yet) whcih would suit me better.

I will let you know if this falls through.

Best regards,
XXXXX


Second email from fellow tug member
*************
Susan,

Could be that I have someone who is willing to take the week.

He would require the 2012 maintenance fee to be prepaid to the resort by you
(due in two weeks anyway) so that he can get a confirmation from Vistana
that 2012 fees are paid and he would only start usage and pay maintenance
fees in 2013.

I assume you would do that when he confirms that he will take the week,
right?

XXXXXX


Third email from fellow tug member:
********************************
Susan,

It looks like this will work out.

The week will not be put in my name but will go to a friend of mine who
works as a broker. He has a client who wants to buy this unit and pay the
closing costs plus some money to the broker. I am not exactly sure how much
he sells for, but you will get the week out of your name.

I can assure you this is not some kind of scam. You will not be required to
pay some "Listing fee" or whatever other fees. I sold a week through him and
it worked fine. Within 6 weeks the week was out of my Starwood account at
MyStarcentral.

My broker friend will prepare a sales contract that gives all details like
what buyer pays, what he gets in comission and that you get $1 and that the
buyer will pay the transfer and escrow company. At least that is what I
think it is, but we will see for sure when we have the contract draft.

After this is signed by everyone the closing company will confirm with
Starwood that you own exactly what you are selling and the 2012 fee has been
paid by you and then you will be provided with a deed which you would have
to get notarized and send to the closing company. Then the closing company
does the rest (record the deed and notify Starwood about the owner change).

You should pay the 2012 maintenance fee by credit card to the resort (online
at mystarcentral.com) the day you sign the contract, so that the closing
company can confirm this payment with Vistana.

I hope this is not too confusing :)

To have the contract prepared I would please need the following info:

Owner names, adress, eMail adress and phone number as well as the exact
split of 2012 maintenance fees between real maintenance fee and property
taxes.

Next step would be to receive the contract and reveiw if everything is like
agreed.

Thanks a lot for providing the information!

Best regards,
XXXXX

***************************
my response to third email:

Umm, What?! That is my initial reaction. Honestly XXXXX, we are not in
dire need and absolutely need to get rid of our week. I only offered it to
you because you are a Tugger. I do not want to get caught up in some PCC
scam so letting you know upfront now that we will not be paying any monies
to a broker to "assist" us in getting rid of our timeshare.

Just so that everything is in the open and honest, will you be receiving any
sort of finder's fee or commission from your broker friend?

Regards,
Susan


Finally the latest email:
**********************************
Susan,

This is definitely not a PCC scam or anything you would need to pay anything
for (except getting the deed notarized and posted to the closing company).

The contracts through a licensed real estate broker in the US would be sent
to you and you could check them out to make sure there is nothing wrong.
There is a real buyer for Vistana weeks but I do not know who he really is
(my guess is that it is a copany who builds a big rental business or even
Starwood buying weeks under the radar. Just a guess, but besides these
options I can not imagine who is paying anything for lots of Vistana weeks).
I sold my Vistana week to them and everything went fine.

The broker through whom I sold offered me something (not cash) if I find
others who are willing to sell their Vistana weeks for $1. He obviously
makes a (quite sizable) brokerage fee from these transactions.

I just put the ad on the bargain basement forum in case anyone wants to get
rid of their Vistana weeks (like lots of TUGers have advertised) and got
some replies.

If your situation is different and you do not need to give the week away,
this is obviously not the right deal for you.
 

DeniseM

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My broker friend will prepare a sales contract that gives all details like
what buyer pays, what he gets in comission and that you get $1 and that the
buyer will pay the transfer and escrow company. At least that is what I
think it is, but we will see for sure when we have the contract draft.
So this is a 3rd party, offering you a contract from someone else, but he's not sure what's in the contract. And, he's doing it for some kind of a finder's fee/incentive.

I would ask to see the whole contract with all the terms, from the Real Estate Agent, before I made a decision. If they won't send it to you - walk.

I sometimes get these kind of offers from middle men who want a finder's fee to rent a timeshare and I say - have the renter contact me directly - they never do. I am not comfortable with too many people in the middle of the deal.
 
Last edited:

cdn_traveler

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How could it be a scam if you aren't paying anything and the deed isn't going to be in your name anymore?
Initially, I thought the same thing. But I feel misled in some way and its not all sitting right with me. He said that he had a friend that may be interested and then the friend turned out to be someone he didn't even know. The purchaser is buying from a broker which I do not have a problem with. After all, I will be rid of my timeshare. Why not tell me the truth from the beginning?
 
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theo

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My $0.02 worth...

I'm not sure that I actually smell a scam here (...but perhaps some third party "profiteering"). That said, all of the manufactured (and seemingly unnecessary) complexity is disconcerting (at best), at least imho.

In particular, while you are the one giving something away for free, it seems that you are somehow also the one being first asked to jump through hoops, provide personal information --- and prepay 2012 maintenance fees, all the while being unaware of the identity (...or confirmed existence) of some mythical alleged "buyer".

Personally, I'd certainly be strongly inclined to just "blow this person off" and wait, at least for now, for a much more straightforward and "cleaner" ownership transfer opportunity than what is being described here. YMMV. :shrug:
 
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presley

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Whoever wants it needs to step up and and claim it. I wouldn't run around in circles for anyone.
 

fishingguy

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I agree with presley, way too cumbersome and complicated for me. Have the other party tell the third party to join TUG and deal with you directly. I'm betting it won't happen! :mad:
 

linsj

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Whoever wants it needs to step up and and claim it. I wouldn't run around in circles for anyone.
I agree. This is too complicated to bother dealing with. Someone else will come along to give your TS to.
 
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